Exploring management values, attitudes, and behaviors toward green practices in the urban hotel industry
Environmental friendly, green, or sustainable practices are a growing concern in the international hospitality industry. This exploratory study seeks to assess the complex motives that drive hotels on becoming environmentally active by examining the benefits and barriers for hotels to adapt sustainable practices. With this assessment, the study strives to identify small measures the less environmentally active hotels can adapt to their daily operations. An initial study was first conducted in international hotels located in Beijing, China, as international hotels are considered more environmentally proactive and their standards are in keeping with the latest industry trends. The preliminary findings suggested that environmental participation may be affected by the age, size and management structure of the hotel. The actual study, which was conducted in three cities across Arizona, United States, took into account of the initial analysis and looked at both large chain hotels and smaller independents hotels located in urban areas. A quantitative and qualitative research methodology using a questionnaire along with an interview was used to collect the data. The findings show that the decision for hotels to implement environmental practices goes beyond the financial and operational sphere. The results point to the role played by political and upper management policies and how their decisions trickle down to the entire organization. Although unexpectedly, there seemed little influence linking customer satisfaction and the hotel’s environmental commitment. Instead, hotels tend to focus their efforts mainly on backroom operations as opposed to measures that directly impact the consumer experience. It is recommended that hotels increase employee and customer awareness of its environmental policies and reveal the statistic impact of each.